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Richard Zacks Education. (2012) 'Island of Vice Theodore Roosevelt's Doomed Quest To Clean-Up Sin-Loving New York.'

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New York 39, Roosevelt 7, Kevin 5, Elliott 4, Us 3, Parkhurst 3, Yankees 2, Zachs 2, Thomas Burns 2, United States 2, Manhattan 2, Washington 2, Boston 2, Europe 2, Ic 1, Mcdowell 1, Segal 1, Bender 1, The City 1, Barroom Stairs 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Richard Zacks  Education.  (2012) 'Island of Vice Theodore  
   Roosevelt's Doomed Quest To Clean-Up Sin-Loving New York.'  

    September 4, 2012
    12:00 - 1:15am EDT  

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in 1895. this is about an hour and ten minutes. >> good. good evening and welcome to the best museum in new york. [laughter] sorry about the heat, but those are no doubt the fires of hell because we have a so lashes panel for you today. we welcome book talk and c-span tonight. our speaker is richard zachs.
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she is the author of island of vice. which is appropriate i can tell you from first-hand experience he is undoubtly the most wicked man in new york. the good reverend parkhurst in the good is private detective taken to the most known brother or sister known brothels in manhattan. i can't mention where he's taken me. in one of the tamer outings spent the 40th birthday teaching know play blackjack. it's ranchy and was nearly panned ban by the georgia state legislature. [laughter]
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[applause] his second underground education is a tribute to the contrary began and the sup pressed and the bizarre. and the only book that explained the birth of -- a more just listing history richard published the pirate coast during a count of the u.s. marines nearly miraculous and the i rate hunter the biography of another esteemed new yorker which was named one of the five best non-fiction books of 2002 by "time magazine." now richard combines all the passions and obsesses to give us an enthralling account of new york when was depraved and teddy roosevelt attempted to clean it up.
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describes island of vice as a fascinating story that zaps relay with zeal. culture and political system and publishes weekly sited the five years of research that went in to the remarkable recreation of new york. and claims that writing with was a poetic slant that unveils a colorful portrait of a volcanic roosevelt. kevin bacon wrote it was great. it tells the story of teddy
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roosevelt try to battle new york. he does a great job of the historian and the story teller. richard grew up in new york when he saw mickey mantle play in the world series, played illegal blackjack, and was mugged seven times. [laughter] over the years, his travels have taken him to cairo where he worked for a time as a card shark and claimed he specialized? ripping off the members of a royal family that shall rename main nameless. educate at university of michigan and the school of jowmplism. he lived in new york with his wife and family where he 0 -- besides book he has written for "the new york times," times, vice, harbors, "sports illustrated" and village voice
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among many others. ladies and gentlemen, lock up your daughters and keep a firm hand upon your wallets. i present to you richard zachs. [applause] [applause] [inaudible] can you guys hear me? is it coming through? because kevin was so nice this that introduction, i won't tell the story of some of the nights we have shared. [laughter] [laughter] okay. a lot of what he said was true. so can we turn the house lights down aittle bit for the slides? can we turn those house lights down or? not anymore? they are more important than i am. yeah?
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okay. there we go. beautiful. okay. as most of you no doubt know, teddy roosevelt was energetic, turn born, opinionated and supremely confident. his own uncle said if he encounters a stone wall, he will bang his head against it until he folks it down. the niece recalled playing a game at ohser bay that involved walking a straight line even if it meant climbing over a wall. a police scandal hits new york. they appoint roosevelt as police commissioner. tred a mitts he knows nothing about police administration. he was 36 years old, and coming off six years of as a civil service commissioner in d.c. which is not exactly the limelight. an point he feared he might have to spend his life writing bock. god help him.
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he blown half the fortunate on failed cattle ranches. ice storms have a way of doing that. okay. roosevelt is a strict, law and order republican and is holier than thou. he believed that bridegrooms should be virgin on the wedding night. he was against striptease shows, he hated racy entertainment. he wants to wipe out vice corruption in new york. it was one of the most craziest in the world. most new yorkers thought he was crazy or joking. within three months this is how a major newspaper portraited tr. [laughter] it's almost the premises for a sitcom early to dark comedy. harvard-educate reformer in to the brothels and gambling joints, stir slightly with tough irish cops and wait for the
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explosion. [laughter] manhattan in the 1890s this is timings square. still called long acre scare. no traffic lights or stop signs. no overnight parks streets seem wider. vehicles could ride in any direction up and down the streets. thieves stole more houses in new york city than the entire state of texas. [laughter] and they raced to outlawed stable where they painted the horses a different color. i'm telling you, they are chop shops for horses. look at the sanitation man in the middle of the state. there are 60,000 horses in new york. 1.8 million pounds of ma neuroa day in new york city. that poor guy had to stand in the middle of the traffic and shovel it up. so this is downtown. city crowded, noisy, fast paced,
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had a population of around 2 million people. more irish than dublin. more gear mans they any city but berlin. you have to understand it was defiantly international. it was not an apple pie wave wheat kind of place. defiantly international in the 1890. the democracy political club. they dominated politics winning seventh of the last nine mayorial elections. they were reformers and republicans. tr happened to be both. a reformer and republican. he was correct. here's a story i love. a contractor accused of delivering one tercht of the thousand pounds of spomp sponges he's supposed to deliver to the sanitation department. he's in court. did you do this? did you deliver one tefnt of the amount of sponges. he said, hell, did it you weigh
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them dry? [laughter] new york fractured along class lines a robber barons of railroad and coal and often rain rough shot over the law. these were the day of the varnd built, and of course, jpmorgan here he is trying to attack a photographer. [laughter] his nose was portrayed as size of a hot air balloon. he wasn't happy about that. the flip side was a unimaginable poverty especially in the wake of the panic of 1893. this the women's police lodging house. making the bed is off a police turning the planks. they sleet. slept on planks on the floor. they fumigated the stink by smoking cigars. so yes, new york was a nation's financial capital. wall street, nation leading
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commercial port. we forget 144 piers in new york. 12,000 factories. tons of theaters and premier residential address but new york city was the vice capital of the united states. and it was an open secret it was the vice capital. it dangled more opportunities for prostitution, gambling and all-night drinking than any other city. 40,000 prostitutes worked in new york. some in brothels some on the street. there were illegal casinos, booking. this was the town teddy roosevelt was going clean it up in 1895. visitors could immediately sense the wicked possibility of the place. new york new york city had a nude weather vane. at the highest point in midtown see at the top of madison
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square. you can see it clearly from the ground and, you know, jay leno called the statute of liberty the hood ornament. nude diane was the hood ornament want breasts outstretched arms told new yorkers the direction of the winds. near madison square garden was the restaurant and can casino. there was a forgotten hotel there. and this housed one of the city great landmarks. it's a tame picture of it. you got a sense of an art gallery type bar. here's a better reason why thousands upon thousand of tourists came. william f a former manager called the painting unquestionably the biggest single advertisement any hotel in the country probably in the world ever had. they could charge triple for
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drinks because of the painting. the massive eight foot tall canvas seemed to invite viewers in to the lush landscape, and perhaps never has a backside been viewed so adore belie by so many men with cocktails in hands than this backside. new york in the 1890s had three main brothel districts. and no one could walk far at night without running in to being propositioned by a pros tews. one purchasing doing the matt estimated that each of them about four clients of a day. one out of every six adult males in new york city visited a prostitute. staggering, right? and you have realize that the night life of the era was very, very difficult. republicanble women did not enter bars and saloons at night. there was no flirt and get
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lucky. men paid. sometimes as many as 200 streetwalkers walk on 13th street between third and fifth avenue. they took clients to hotels to register as a mr. and mrs. smith. a magazine editor was asked what he could see overlooking his studio. fornication three windows at the time. [laughter] and the man he admitted to staying up late at night. they tried to discredit him. it was not offensive to see you see them fornicating? and the artisted replies, times but sometimes very amusiving. -- amusing [laughter] the cheapest brothels were locate what is the east side. rein the section of the cheap broth l. it is the lower east side of the new york city in that ear are
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era. more than 150 discount accident disorderly houses operated east of here. including six, eight, ten, 12 and 14 streets. this an image of he'ser street. documented evidence of at least half dozen brothels near the particular picture. foul or doors, simple dress, the standard rate was a bargain 50 cents. poverty bread december per ration, a sweat shop worker might earn $5 a week while a a prostitute could earn that in a couple of hours. the back of 81 elder street was not only down the block from the police station but also right in the back of the synagogue. and they sometimes complained the canting was interrupted by sounds of a different character.
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[laughter] the second major brothel district in the 19 1890 was basically the nyu campus. you can see french on one side, english on the other. the red light district was famed for french prostitutions who were willing do a certain i don't know how to put it certain things they were ask me later about what they were willing to do. reverend -- the area was known for circuses, and it was not a circus you saw clowns. you saw several women performing sex acts together basically and reverend parker. i'm going get to tr, i promise. you know, he always bullies the way on to the stage. keep him to the side for a few more more thans. they lead to tr, and he witnessed a french circus and the women performed nude high
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kicking and also a game of nude leap frog. they a detective who was asked in court what was his role? and relied, i was the frog. [laughter] the third main brothel district in the 1890 was the tenderloin. engulfing about two blocks wide path along either side of broadway. high energy, gaudy, he had been living on rump steak until a transfer there. he's excited to taste some tenderloin. that name stuck for half a century. they had dance halls such as a star stayed open all night. steven korean was a hot young novel nest new york and william raldolf hurst who was the hot new newspaper guy hired to write
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a piece for the new york journal and discussed the tenderloin was an old-timer who told him always somebody blowing champagne for the house. i did mondays, girl, lights music. maybe it wasn't smooth. fights all over. it used to overhold fights. it was great. [laughter] so what was a dream girl of the 1890 like? this is lillian russell star of the stage. any engineer will tell you that a balcony like that needs support. [laughter] the bra had not yet been invented and women dependented on corp. sets. these instruments of torture impacted the waist and lifted the breasts. what were the ideal measurements of the women? this surprised me. this woman posed a american venus and she's 5'5" tall
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weighed 151 pounds, and the tabloid announces her bust was 35, waist 32, hips 38. so in other words, the dream girl of that era was 53, 32, 38 which is not playboy or anything. the goddess from last year is going to weight watchers today. when he got addressed she was supposed to have ab 18 inch waist. nude 32. corp. sets 20 inches. it's fashion insign. it's just insign. besides sex, new york city offered gambling. here's a gambling rate. it new yorkers placed illegal bets at placed called pool halls. they had dog in with pool. they was hidden over abar or hotel.
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they came in by telegraph ticker. without look the other way of the new york city police department. and it's simply not possible. now i'm not saying that every police officer was corrupt but there was an attitude back then that was okay to take some bribes, and to overlook fights. since most new yorks wanted vice. a veteran detective summed it up. there are cops who have never taken a thrar i have heard about them but i have never saw one. however they exist, i give them credit for being good or being
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posts. pop cops took bribes over all aspecteds of everything. you couldn't leave your wagon on the street at night. they turned their head at the bribe. bribes, bribes, bribes. so what was the police officer of the 18 out like? the man taking bribes? they eight for free. which they did. they walked the beat and knew everyone. the 3800 man force was two-thirds irish and the principal nationality was irish. more than half of the arrest each year was for drunk disorderly. one of the biggest differences from today the police officers slept together. that is 1,000 men or one quarter of the force was on reserve duty every night. and they slept in the precinct house and became almost like an army platoon. if you do the matt between
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reserve duty and regular duty they were putting in 110 hours a week. it was a dog's life said one reporter. they pulled pranks on each other. they are an irish fa tender that tenderty. they used to haze rookies by stripping them naked and painting them green. they had each other's back it was and the blue wall of eye sense silence. we are getting closer to roosevelt. he despised this man. he was not on the police force he had not closed more than 50 brothels in the exact area we're standing now. he was this man was fighting and reinstated and roosevelt said he represented everything that i am again inspect is captain william big bill born in new york to an
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irish family. he was a bartender and a boxer he grabbed a young reporter and have you seen any stray grass running around that i might have missed? he called cross dressers degender ates. he said, stand up to a bar with a buttonnings on don't look nice. so when he took over the lower east side, the men eddie he didn't say anything. they showed up at 144 christy street and demanded money. and the captain also ordered there be no loud music. they were on a crusade investigating. so you to investigate places like this and do gooders like the society prevention charles
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parkhurst. this is the refnlgd charles parkhurst. he went after him for not closing the bathroom l and the ensuing scandal read to the committee and we heard of it was grandfather of them all. the final report concluded every citizens was dominated by an overshadowing droad of the police. new york's finest they had the nickname was accused of being the filthiest. enter tr. on may 6, 1895 after the reformers finally won another election. mayor appointed roosevelt in the new board to the board of police commissioners and roosevelt was e lengted as president. on the left that's tr main booster bicycling enthusiast. next to him is the wily lawyer andrew d. parker who fought
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roosevelt and on the right is the son of late president at time roosevelt hit the ground running. he was unified at first and they vowed to have a smarter, honest police department and change the culture to politeness. he let it know the corrupt officers be retiring or they be persecuted. i had hires a woman stenographer to replace two men. he forced out -- i love all of roosevelts. he was always a man in a hurry. i was at harvard club believe it or not to give a speech and they have a thing called roosevelt cup. it's a coffee cup twice the size of a regular one.
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he couldn't stand to wait. he was always in a hurry. he forced out williams and police chief thomas burns. williams had endorsed the idea of a red light district and thomas burns was basically the sherlock holmes of the united states and had an incredible reputation as a detective, we he made himself rich by taking gifts from the varnd built. roosevelt couldn't tolerate the behavior. he wanted harsher penalties. he wanted all the laws enforced. he was like a wirl wind trying to sweep the corruptness out. you can't imagine the courage of the man to come in to a city that was this corrupt and this used to it a certain way and just a reckless reformers attitude intend to change the whole place around. it's amazing.
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but anyhow, arthur wrote a front page item ten days in the tenure for the new york. we have real police commissioner his name is though door residence vole. roosevelt speaks english accurately. he doesn't say i dun it or i seen it. he talks more like a boston man or i englishman than a new york police commissioner. the voice is hardest trial. it is an rasping joyce. a voice that comes from the tip of the teeth and seems to say what do you amount to anyway? in the good days the own of a voice would have been clubbed on general principles. [laughter] now the bravest policeman must listen to the voice, obey it, and seem to like it. the world treated roosevelt very
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well in the beginning. a month in to the job he did something unusual. i think he did it out of genuine curiosity. i don't think it did it as a publicity stunt but it turned out to be good. they began to take midnight walks they were checking up on the police force. he was willing to stay up all night. it he caught the cops not doing their doubt he was ready to get in their face and tell them off. it caught the imagination of the new york city and nation's imagination. you have to picture the cops were huge guys. and roosevelt five 5'8" inches and absolutely fearless and willing to lecture anyone he can lecture basically. he and reis went out and finds a cop, the first problem is they can't find any cops. knob is doing their job. he finds a job chatting with a pretty woman and roosevelt said
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officer, is this the way you attempt your duty and policeman snapped back? what are you looking for trouble? see that street, now run along or i'll fan your hide and brandishing the knight stick. roosevelt didn't move and said shall i fan him to the lady? roosevelt cut him short. you will never fan me hard or easy. you will rater to headquarter at 9:30 tomorrow morning. so roosevelt clearly relished a sport that including hunting bullies. and very quickly he earned a reputation for waking up cops. this is a kind a little interesting. favorite detail i have the tramps up there cheering because lincoln stephens wrote that the cops had a game they could play. could they land the perfect blow on the bottom of the feet of a sleeping guy.
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he lifted up like a stick and hit the ground running before he woke up. here two tramps to see roosevelt nailing a sleeping police officer. okay. six weeks in to the job he has extraordinary momentum, political good will, what does roosevelt decide to do with the power? he makes a decision to enforce the cab bit blue law against selling alcohol in saloons on sundays. of all of the choices, of all the crusades, he choose that one. you might say bad choice. it was technical illegal throughout new york state to sell alcohol on sunday they had been ignoring the law for a long time. bar owners were paid paid police to look the other way. everybody felt naughty and they sold more booze on sunday than any other day of the week. it was the working man's one day
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off. new yorkers defnltd liked to drink too. i mean, they had beer in their saloons, cheep concert halls, comics told rude jokes. she's a ballet dancer first on one leg than the other. between the two she makes a living. [laughter] if you bought a drink, you could enjoy the free lunch counter. the beer was a nickel and a shot was a dime. they sent their kids like this kid to fetch beer a pail of beer. they send the kid back and forth instead of the dad getting the drunk alone. they have a people experience. fellow commissioner who is roosevelt's right hand man tours the saloon and discovers they're open. everybody knew that.
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it was no discovery. but the whole board decide to shut down saloons on sunday. they vote it through and tr makes it u crusade. when he did that he went from popular publish official to hated pure tin in a new york minute. it was astounding six weeks in to the job, and tr tried to claim that frame it not a crusade against liquor but selective enforcement. he did not make the laws enforced them. enforcing all the laws was right. ignoring any was wrong. many new yorkers craving a beer didn't care to think about rose investment's reasoning. roosevelt was roasted for the crackdown. town topics counted after making -- sorry. i skipped one little patch. i like this. they forbade all kinds of things. you couldn't go to a baseball game or boxing or theater
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performances. there was to horse races or circuses. instead of going to saloons they would have family picnics. he said that in speeches repeatedly. desperate times call for desperate issues. they came up with a clever way. medicinal alcohol. ask for rainbow syrup. the clerk will deal you three fingers of the rot enwhisky. it'll keep you walking because if you lay down you're afraid you'll i do. i knew a man who drank but went to jersey city thinking he's having fun. when a mangos to new jersey looking for fun, his mind was failing. tr was roasted for the topics. after he made a tour of the saloons he took himself to the union league club and bought a drink.
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that was the problem. the crackdown on sunday fell along class lines. the private clubs could serve and here is roosevelt joining himself at the private club and the new favorite dlighted showing contrast emphasizing that they said that the east side, which is where the tentments were roosevelt is drinking at the harvard club, the east side turned it to a russian bath and snapped the moisture from the overnight water watermelon. they were laying in to them. hotels could serve drinks on sundays to guests eating a meal in the hotel restaurant if the hotel had ten rooms or more. roosevelt was typical defiant. he said he was merely enforcing the law and would be enforcing autothe law an he said it is true that i may be never be heard of again. i will have kept my oath of office. so he did get two bombs stoant
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him want newspaper struck up every good. there's a law from importing os steers why haven't he arrested the chefs. there's law against bagging why can't they arrest the baggers. the law against kite flying south of 14th street. it's illegal to have a deck of playing cards in a college or ship and the new york world concluded the average city has been leading a life crime. [laughter] and the newspaper just wouldn't let up. the police force was accused of being overzealous they were arrested innocent women as streetwalkers. [laughter] here's the cartoon of the statute of liberty arrested for quote, being and unaccompanied female being out at night. [laughter] that's the front page. a close friend of tr dr. william stour gist became worried about
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him. he looked worn and tired and lost much of the natural snap. at this rate it's a question of time when he has a break down. when he does it will be a bad one. to make bad matters worse, the republicans upstate would pass the liquor law which was supposed to crack down and help rose vellets do the job. it allowed hotels with ten rooms serving a meal could serve alcohol on sundays. so what did z the new york saloon owners do? they think they're not going to be able to serve on sunday. they con vert more than 1,000 saloons to hotels. they he said i couldn't get the tenth room. i had to use a pole bin in the basement and andy horn put his in an attic and said comment on some of the rooms only a midget could stand up straight.
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guess who was doing the inspectedders? they thought it was fine. so just weeks of the the new york world trumpets drinks all you want. they were called hotels. most of them, however, very back ward about renting the rooms. and by the following week it was rum ruled the city. the tenderloin glis wednesday the brilliant evil. the east side wallowed in beer. some joints serve the same over and over again. and a mum fied ham and cheese sandwich. not unreasonably he expected a sane interpretation of hotel and meal and against. he announced the police will be on the lookout for fake hotels but the judges ruled 17 beers and one pretzels equals a meal. [laughter] the republican legislature said
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really bungled new law and it was turning up to bottoms up and new york became the city that never sleeps. roosevelt hadn't created the on slot -- he certainly had created this but the events especially with the demise of roosevelt subtle play out like a slap in the face. they were drying openly in fake hotels and fake clubs on sundays and also at 3:00 in the morning they were not only drinking, unmarried young women who might never walk blocks were starting to walk or stagger up the convenient barroom stairs. roosevelt for years delighted in describing picnicking with their families on sunday was to the amused by any of it. he began secretly looking for a new job. now tr would eventually alienate every newspaper the own republican party, he would start feuding with two fellow
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commissioner and tire to his own hand picked police chief. you name it got ugly he battled everybody. but ultimately say it turned out okay for roosevelt. the job of police commissioner probably did as much for him as he did for the job and the two years there launched him on to the national stage. he honed the speaking skills and silence himself so he could carry the republican banner another day. he certainly earned a national reputation as a tough law and order reformer. but some cities just refused to be reformed. [laughter] thank you very much. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] you
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have a microphone, i think it's off right now. [inaudible conversations] all right. thanks very much. what a horgs driven down and indated town new york used to be. for instance, anybody know what the most common crime on the lower east side used to be about 100 years ago? [inaudible] horse poisoning. a way that gangsters would extort money from the many peddlers around here. they would -- street peddlers they threaten to poison the horse and do so if they didn't come across . >> i was surprised there was a ten minute limit for push carts. you could only stay in place for
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one place. they couldn't all move. no way. so they just paid off a cop in order stay in the same place. >> yeah. ic we do a little talk here and q & a after that. so just to -- just to start, you know, it strikes many that the vice all the more relevant. here we are 120 years later in the middle of a police scan dam. one a little different from the past. police in queens dragged a fellow officer off to an insane asylum i had dared to point out which is common knowledge that the police don't accept many reports of crimes because they want to keep the statistics down. you know, this also the massive program which become controversial become directly solely at minority youth as it was in response commissioner ray kelly the other day went to the city council and yelled at it
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for requesting any of his. are the police encouragingble. you mentioned the long list of committees the hearings, the cohen committee, the sea berry the investigation, the nap commission, the mull lynn commission, on and on, are the police ultimately above any effective civilian supervision in new york? it has to be chopped back? >> i don't have any -- [inaudible] i would say that it's more about human natch nature than the police. the system offers too much power and too many temptation. if you get human nature if you give any of us that kind of power and those stacks of dollar bill nays the money sitting there we're going have a hard time with it. instead of handing jumght of the n.y.p.d. i would like to say judgment of
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the human nature. >> police are probably much less corrupt than they have been in the past. probably less violent. >> god with they are were violent in the 1890. one day 100 officers had been accused of beating, you know, and they were able to a 100 in a day. [inaudible] and roosevelt reintroduced it. it had been taken away before roosevelt and he heard of a detective getting beaten up. roosevelt rushed the night stick back and forth. rose volt restorms was . >> talk about carrying a big stick. he didn't speak softly. >> a night stick was how big? >> 24 inches long and one and five inches in i did namer. it was made of locust wood an --
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burns made them use a 15 inch long tamper one. it was more a baton type thing. the stick was a weapon and roosevelt brought it back. >> and so it's interesting. is there a lesson here about the limit of reform. we wouldn't have accepted today the police force we had then. by going so far overboard by assisting on enforcing everyone. particularly saloons and big on the saloon thing. it was one way the cops made money. the small bribes. >> i don't mention it but tamney hall ran their political networking out of the saloon. he thought he could knock the democrats by doing this. he had an image. he wanted to enforce the law against throwing fruit down here in the market. he wanted to sign to be post about every fruit market. it reminds you about bloomberg.
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even "the new york times" took him to task for the ban that that peal law. >> not the way of americans think of teddy roosevelt. >> he's a dynamic man. i respect some things about him. i tried to be fair. he had a problem with he was fiercely against stiptease chose and the brothels and he thought that disusers should be whipped. he thought we should -- physically whip them. likes orlandlord should be prosecutedded to the extend of the law. >> we end up because of the misguided reforms with brothels on just about every corner in some neighbors. >> exactly. he knew the time period. playing along helping me out.
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thank you. the it was unbelievable. can you imagine any of us? the rest of you people going out to a bar and have ten bedrooms up the stairs after your third drink. that changed. it changed morality of the city which changed the morality of the country. some people think it was . >> you have a great joke in the book about the sandwich used to -- [inaudible] >> pretty funny. the bartender yells to the owner, hey, we have to stop serving and the owner yells back? we run out of beer? no some fool ate the last sandwich and there ain't another one on the whole east side. >> they reported it consistencies of a brick between two pieces of bred. it was a symbolic sandwich. [inaudible]
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it sat there for years sometimes. it sat there in the middle of the table is a joke. >> and that kind of the other poll you have a great descriptions of including one of the favorite quotes about him he wrote that he was no more fit to be chief of police than the fishman was to be director of the aquarium but as a character as a work of art he was a masterpiece. short on characters now aday? >> yeah. he was just -- [inaudible] really something. i have to say i have sixty more pages of him in the first draft the book. it didn't fit. it had to wrend roosevelt ended. runs for mayor and he gets a big crowd. he runs against tamney. i'm going tell you how charlie murphy got his money. everybody is like no, i'm not going tell you. he had fun. >> he a wonderful slogan for
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that campaign, which was you can trust a thief but you can't trust a liar. >> he was also famous for see here -- what is it? see here, say nothing, pay nothing. >> his advise to fellow patrolman. and he told the election committee at one point the effort to the matter i disremember. -- [inaudible] and described himself as specific policeman in the history of new york city. i stand there and breathe the fresh air from the meekest to the highest no matter who comes along and talk to them off. >> you have to love the guy. when he gets appointed the first thing he announces i intend to enforce all the laws. just like a roosevelt statement. then later they're claiming he's not enforcing the law. what law did does he pick? the law against bands performing
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without a license. and all the newspapers say what kind of oath is he picks this law? he knew exactly what he was doing. >> and even as police chief, what would you say the top salary was a year? >> $6 ,000. >> and he ended up with something like $600 ,000 and a million dollars. >> $3 77,000 on the day he retired. it put him richer than roosevelt. >> the most famous was? >> kevin knows more about this than i do. but his fighting against tamney hall and so tamney hall had ruled a monopoly for the new york gienlts for the national league in baseball and they are booking a frank bring in a club from baltimore in 1903 that doesn't have a name and over time the gates a name and become
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the new york yankees. big bill was the cofounder of the new york yankees. >> it was the way tamney would operate. the tam nigh guy owned the new york giants. he owned the new york giants and head of the transit . >> anyone wanted to train them put a stadium they couldn't get transportation there because of freed month. here's a story i don't know if kevin knows if you want for the baseball guys. i met with a police historian the other night. and he knows his stuff. and he tells me that the new york yank agree low go one of the most famous low go the interlocking n and y. it was based on a tiffany merit of valor award for the police back in the 1870s. but here what he told me the guy
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named mcdowell was the bag man for gluer williams he was on a bender and was drunk and sleeping it off in a tenderloin saloon when three irish thieves drop through the skylight and he wakes up he's carrying the -- [inaudible] he fights the three crooks and gets shot in the line of duty. so a bagman getting to be in a tenderloin saloon is the first award for valor that lead to tiffany designing the ny. >> that's a great story. no red sox fans would be surprised by that. >> no. >> only material who the historian describes it as excuse me the most successful operator gambling establishments in the country before the rise las vegas after world war ii owning two racetracks and estimated 300 gambling halls. this guy was really the major league kind of crime guy. really.
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mutually gambling at least here he is with the former police chief. and they own a ball team. that's what the new york . >> yeah. new york was so corrupt two years after being police chief he's founding yankees. >> and they first [inaudible] they team has to interrupt a five-game series with a red sox at the end of the season because they rented out hill top park. and they have to college football game. they to go to boston and lose two games and it costs millions. >> he's doing a history of new york. that's in the contract. >> this is how tamney operates. he was the flip side of tamney. they let you have the nice vices. forget about it, if it ever got in the way of making money. >> absolutely. >> what was the life of the average policeman you mentioned how many hours and it just sounds brutal. >> they walked the beat. they knew everybody on the
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block. they slept at the precinct house. the story i like, the -- [inaudible] one rank above patrolman they made rounds watching them. they had the greatest capes from getting out of trouble. one legendary one was guys inside a funeral parlor and he's just talking with the pals and kid runs in and says there's -- [inaudible] there's no side entrance or back exit. his wife is going to kill him if he gets fibrod more. he has to figure out how to get away. he is looking to see where the guy is and the officer taps him on the back and he's figured how can the guy get away? good evening. he turns out he had the undertaker wheel him out in a coffin and walked around the block. any house. >> and you mentioned the houses that were kept in the basement. >> yeah. roosevelt shut them down. the biggest mistake he believed that a lot of the poor deserved
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unfortunately had brought it upon themselves and he shut down the police lodging houses in february, march, march of 1886 that's a bad time. it turned out one of the worst blizzard ever occurred on the night he shut them down. there were two charity places on the other side of the island. the precinct houses had a scattered around the island. on the east river and the hudson. >> yeah. really brutal. i mean, and this is the -- terrible period economically. it was a depression that was maybe as bad as the great depression at the worse. and you had a lot of people out of work. you had the feeling that the people that the who was supposed to be reformer was against even private philanthropy. >> the charity issues -- they wanted you to have to buy a ticket to give a lodging and not give any direct charity.
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they thought that the direct charity would be booze. people drink it up. you got a ticket and you took the ticket to a charity lodging house. you had to prove you had no money on you. that's the deal that amazed me. if you had money you could buy a seven cent lodging. you to literally empty your pockets. be searched you had to do three hours of work the following day. it was a different attitude toward charity. >> and the people who think called progressives at the time come off as a lot harder. >> absolutely. and teddy comes off as almost insane at points. shooting the spanish officer. >> yeah. roosevelt is so passionate. someone said he spent the whole life trying to control the motion and the energy, and i give him the benefit of the drought. he agreed with him during the perioded. somebody annoyed him so much and challenged him to a dual. roosevelt accepted and everybody
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was shocked. they didn't know it was f it was a joke or not. we recommend that both men go to the city plaza and use fire hoses. [laughter] >> and it's -- yet for that a really problem the most remarkable rise in the american history within three years. >> taggerring. i when i researched the book i didn't allow myself to do nick past 1895 of 97. most of you probably know more than that than i do. i hope it's not true. i tried to capture who he was then. the day he leaves town you thought it was a failed bureaucrat who you're never going hear from again. you would never have predicted the outcome. >> instead he goes to the secretary of navy, helps set off the spanish-american war. becomes a war hero. comes baseball elected governor
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of new york. been vice president and then vice president. the youngest president ever. vice president was usually about the least important job in american politics. you literally did nothing. roosevelt took the first few months off in officer. he becomes president and the history changes. >> yeah. let's do some questions here. we have to wait for the microphone to get to you. there's a microphone coming. we're on national tv. >> one way at least rose relate was an interesting variation on -- shortly before he married his send wife he wrote a letter telling her how much he was going to like sex with him. so -- a question about what was going on for the side bar stuff with the vice how people were approaching him. when was the black hand the mafia in this. and also, there must --
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[inaudible] communist knocking around and perhaps tell, me, please were they looking at possibility of let'sizationing prostitution and gambling. >> the first part you memghtsed the letter. he wrote endorsed a thing i love the phrase -- not just the husband discoverying to give sex but the wife should be reacceptive. he wanted to cut down on prossation. as for the legalization issue. yes, it was very much considered. and you read the digest and the debate. it was openly debated. some people thought that it would protected women. the disease was running high. there was no condom used in that era. that was -- it had been tried in 1875 in st. louis and europe most prostitution was legal in most places in europe. we were studying that whether we should implicate that.
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as far as the black hand it hadn't emerged. doesn't come up in the police logs. i think i read elsewhere it was starting up stronger. it's not important in roosevelt's time. >> and stale time when the politicians controlled the gangs. organized -- cops organized the crime. they say you can have a gambling thing in the saloon. they organized crime. >> it was all -- [inaudible] you couldn't be caught with a gun. yeah. >> my question was about the young people in the area particularly the young person we awe knew later as segal the synagogue -- [inaudible] and bringing it back. he was running a protection racket to protect the people. what about the young kids in all of this? >> i don't have so many
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details. the one nickname they were called lighthouse. they went and gave out the cards for the brothels. so they were also nicknamed timber matches. they were selling matches. it was growing up pretty fast, i mean, i have -- i'm always looking for the significant details. swimming in the east river. you have the pictures frankly, you know, maybe kevin can handle that question. >> you had -- [inaudible] i forget the street theives who organized the own theater as well. there was an election date tradition among street gangs of setting big bonfires on collection cay. they used to go out of their way to take the wood and empty wagons so the boys couldn't light them on fire. ..
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>> here's somebody who wanted to ask a question. >> thank you. did he accomplish anything? and were there any long-lasting accomplishment? >> yes, he should but it was like to make this experiment. and he never backed down. and it astounds me the courage that he had.
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it's just staggering but he went up against. last-in accomplishments ran two of the fairest elections ever run in new york city. they took the election bureau and made it a separate euro because roosevelt running for elections. he did reintroduce the night stick. i'm trying to think of some of the other. he showed truthfully -- i mean, they like to credit him with founding the first police academy, but i was talking about it and he endorsed the first shooting range. but they already had a school of instruction in the building in the shooting range to and directly lead to the police academy. so it's a little tough to put your finger on more than just an unbelievable effort. >> it's astounding thinking about a few lessons were learned so from the whole drinking
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disaster and prohibition. >> usually would be a little clue that this does some work from a prohibition doesn't work, but no. roosevelt didn't favor prohibition covered by the way. he said meng teamed 20th that the law wouldn't work. >> you drink one or two glasses of white wine, one or two glasses of champagne. he did not like red wine, or hard liquor. he also said he preferred dinner parties summers over. last night [laughter] >> you mention the south village being famous for the specialty. i'm wondering, where was the freshness derived from? out of washington square? >> it was called frenchtown south of washington square and all talked to afterwards about what they did. i've been asked not to be too
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specific, but with the euphemism, kevin? if you brush your teeth can you be using the same body part. >> the departments originally in new york were called french flats. everything name for her. >> they really were frenchwomen. they spoke french and i have long documents of one woman, owning five brothels. these were indeed french brothels. six to 10 girls, usually higher prices. pettitte pression feature has double of the regular because it was so taboo. it's just a different world. >> actually, somebody appear. >> hi, how long did this range slot model of this bar would like tenpenny rems of stairs
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last? they seem to recall seeing dings and 1850s. >> actually worked on this topic. it was basically to 96 to 1917 in the definitive range model. and made cutbacks and came up with a few different rules and make up and down from 1500 down to maybe three or 400. but some of the investigators really think the law changed morals. certainly in the city if not wider. it's a big deal. >> so i'm thinking about teddy roosevelt and his family. his brother was a child and his family was not particularly known for being sober or whatnot. did you discover anything in his background that would've led to him being this right last? >> you had on it because roosevelts brother died in alcohol-related death in august of the previous year and
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roosevelt gets a job in may of 1895. so he never much talk about elliott's issues, but had to play in his mind. literally dozens of empty liquor bottles and elliott was of course the father of the future on our roosevelt. it is just such -- it's a tough story. some of roosevelts query might have come from elliott fishes because elliott fathered a child out of wedlock with the made and roosevelt was deeply, deeply ashamed of his brother's behavior. >> yeah company did a great job of describing the possible effect. but they were generally known for it. >> there were some issues. there were some other relatives that died and also edith's father, but father-in-law relating to this issues. last question if there is one of us were going to call it a
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night. >> i am curious if you can imine in today's day and age 2012, if teddy roosevelt were police commissioner or mayor of new york, considering our current issues of human trafficking and homeland security and what would be his big toshio to go after today. >> it's a good question. i just think that would be one of his many issues. but a quick thing. i had dinner at the harvard club with some top police lieutenants. i have to mention that. they were saying 80% about the general public doesn't understand is 80% of crime has to be ignored. you can't do anything by the book or the entire system grinds to a halt. if you are nailing somebody for baking is just a heartland panhandle in the corner, you're
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going to miss the big crime that happens on the next block. and i just think i am evading the question a little bit, but roosevelt tried to enforce the entire manual or maybe he would've learned its lesson from this. but if he took the 1895 roosevelt, both being with the web. >> i know i'd share locked at least five or six times. >> lock him up. where are the costs? >> did you investigate that era and do you know where the archives are here in new york where there's actual evidence still from some of the old crimes? >> yeah, of course. the municipal archives downtown, the department of records is just loaded in a district attorney's papers. [inaudible] >> yeah, there is physical
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evidence to you just have to be very nice if you want to touch it. and it was very cool. i got the whole -- i forgive can dice and cards, but the artifacts make history come alive. i love that. [inaudible] >> well, we'll talk later. >> well, we've provided to not only with this evening's entertainment this evening's entertainment from sweated out a good five or 10 pounds. we apologize that, but it's great to see you well. to quote the great labor leader, john l. lewis coming heat to this not his own horn. richard spoke, "island of vice" is for sale. he will gladly autograph them. so are mine inscribe or stroke. thanks so much for coming out. [applause]
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>> for more information, visit the author's website, richard zacks.com. >> he was in opel. cars that everyone in iraq tries to no one in america knows about. but again, the suspicion was raised whenkn i realized the bak of the car was a little lower to the ground in the front. lower and given the rules of engagement come you cant justthr shoot someone ulbecause they lok suspicious.use they well, sir, scott, why why did you shoot him? well, i got scared. you got scared? so you killed a man? well, yeah, sir. like, i have a gun. like, you can't do that. and given the rules of engagement, you can't just shoot someone unless you know they have the weapon, you know
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they're aiming, or you know that they've been -- they've killed someone or they're in, i should say, they're in the action. so given the rules of engagement, i couldn't just shoot someone that looked suspicious. so i knew the best thing to do was to yell at him to get out of his car. so as i did, i was looking over my left shoulder kind of facing him. i was in the lead stryker vehicle, had metal basically up to my neck, i was inside the stryker standing up. i still had my m-4, my oakley m frames on, i was looking cool. had my kevlar on. doing everything that i was supposed to do. looked at him and said, hey, get out of your vehicle. and i knew he heard me because he looked over his shoulder straight at me and raised his hands off the steering wheel and then put 'em back down. nothing happened. i was like, okay, well, maybe he understood or maybe he's saying i don't know where i am, i'm
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lost. i didn't know. so i yelled at him again. he raised his hands up again off the steering wheel and shook his hands no and let his foot off the brake. i then had to make a decision. so i shot two rounds in front of his vehicle with my m4 and, boom, my world went black. i woke up a week or so laettner walter reed army medical center, my life forever changed. my world went black not only physically, being blind the rest of my life, the shrapnel had cut my left eye in half, entered the frontal lobe on the left side of my brain and metal went through my cornea and taking out my optic nerve. i saw nothing but blackness and was told by the ophthalmologist that you would never be able to see again. so my life went physically black.
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that day. but it also went spiritually black. i no longer believed in god. everything that i'd done, everything that i believed in now no longer meant anything to me. i remember one of my best friends, edward, coming into the room. i think it was before one of my surgeries and said, hey, scotty, why don't you say a prayer? i said, no. i don't know how to pray, and i don't know god. and i think it, the room went dead silent. like if there were cockroaches in the room, you would have heard 'em. my wife went back to her room realizing, you know, i'd been married to an awesome man, and i still am, and i'd be fine married to a blind guy, but being married to someone who didn't believe in what he believed in before, that was something different. so she began to pray. friends began to pray all around the world. and for me it was a choice that
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i had to make. it was a personal choice that i had to make. i knew i had support. friends would come into my room on a daily basis singing christian songs. i know doctors thought our room was creepy because balloons would be coming out, i thought the room was huge. apparently, it was like a little match boxcar. but it was that support. but again, it still came back to me. i was the one that had to make a choice. i was the one that had to choose to make a difference. my company commander called me every other day to see how i was doing. we were awesome friends. my brigade commander would call me every week to see how i was doing. something that doesn't normally happen in an organization, to have the top leadership call you to see how you're doing? the support that i had was amazing, was awesome. and people like toby keith, country singer, gary sinise, the actor, generals, three-star, four-star would come in and try to see me and i'd say,